Fash­ion Re­tail: Clock­ing the High­est Sales Growth in Malls

It won’t be wrong to say fash­ion is more social these days. Social me­dia plat­forms like Pin­ter­est, In­sta­gram Face­book and Twit­ter have changed the en­tire con­cept of fash­ion and shop­ping.

Shopping Center News - - CONTENTS - – By San­deep Ku­mar

Pin­ter­est, In­sta­gram, Face­book and Twit­ter have changed the en­tire con­cept of fash­ion and shop­ping. Shop­ping Mall De­vel­op­ers and Heads across In­dia talk about how im­por­tant fash­ion re­tail is to the mall.

Re­tail in In­dia is an in­cred­i­ble as­sort­ment of for­mats. Over the last decade, the con­cept of shop­ping has un­der­gone a sea change in terms of for­mat and con­sumer-buy­ing be­hav­iour. Along with the in­crease in dis­pos­able in­come, brand con­scious­ness, de­vel­op­ment and mod­erni­sa­tion of in­fra­struc­ture has also played a ma­jor role in deͤn­ing the chang­ing dy­nam­ics of re­tail spa­ces – es­pe­cially in the fash­ion cat­e­gory.

While the shop­ping mall may have be­come a com­plete fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre – com­plete with food, fun zones and cin­e­mas – and suc­cess­ful malls in In­dia have every­thing that a fam­ily needs for an en­joy­able day out, it is the fash­ion and ac­ces­sories sec­tions in malls that al­ways get the max­i­mum at­ten­tion.

Fash­ion has glam­our and el­e­gance. It catches at­ten­tion and at­trac­tion. It won’t be wrong to say fash­ion is more social these days. Social me­dia plat­forms like Pin­ter­est, In­sta­gram, Face­book and Twit­ter have changed the en­tire con­cept of fash­ion and shop­ping.

On an av­er­age, 60 per­cent of a mall’s rev­enue is gen­er­ated by its fash­ion stores. Cur­rently, the fash­ion cat­e­gory oc­cu­pies ap­prox­i­mately 60 per­cent of mall space in In­dia – a number that may go up as per a mall’s tar­get au­di­ence, but never down.

Fash­ion Re­tail: The Epi­cen­ter of the Mall

Con­sumers of all age groups spend the max­i­mum amount of time cir­cling in­ter­na­tional and na­tional cloth­ing and ac­ces­sory brands. The Mil­len­nial con­sumer – with his high-in­come level, even higher spend­ing ca­pac­ity and his shop-any­time-you-wish at­ti­tude – wants the best of fash­ion.

Stud­ies show that even when con­sumers don’t pur­chase a prod­uct, the max­i­mum time con­sumers spend win­dow shop­ping is on the floor that houses the fash­ion stores. They check out new de­signs, trends, style and colours in or­der to look el­e­gant, look smarter, up-to-date and at­trac­tive.

The past few years have seen the emer­gence of na­tional-level women eth­nic and fu­sion wear brands that are ag­gres­sively ex­pand­ing across the coun­try. Western wear brands, in­clud­ing fast fash­ion and ca­sual wear, are also ex­pand­ing rapidly due to in­creas­ing de­mand by con­sumers.

What malls do to high­light the Fash­ion Section

Smart mall de­vel­op­ers study their tar­get au­di­ence, see the cat­e­gories that are grow­ing in their catch­ment area and then pick and choose the per­fect brand mix for their fash­ion and ac­ces­sories section – an ex­er­cise which is ex­tremely im­por­tant since malls de­pend heav­ily on the rev­enue and foot­falls that fash­ion brings to them. Since fash­ion re­tail is all about the cus­tomers’ pref­er­ences, space al­lot­ment to brands –value for­mats, lifestyle, and lux­ury for­mats – needs to be in sync with the type of peo­ple vis­it­ing a mall.

The com­mon­est trend is to al­low ground floor to the in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic lux­ury and bridge-to-lux­ury brands. The rea­son be­hind this is that the ground floor has the high­est rentals and high­est foot­falls. For malls that don’t tar­get an elite au­di­ence, in­ter­na­tional and

home­grown fast fash­ion brands work beau­ti­fully too. An­other com­mon trend is to ex­clu­sively al­lot the ͤrst floor to women’s wear brands, and the sec­ond and third floors to menswear and kids wear brands re­spec­tively. One rea­son for this is that de­spite menswear hold­ing a ma­jor share of the ap­parel mar­ket at 41 per­cent, it’s the women’s wear seg­ment which is grow­ing the fastest as wit­nessed by the foot­falls and pur­chase pat­terns.

An­other rea­son, say mall de­vel­op­ers that ef­fec­tively, it is al­most im­pos­si­ble to un­der­stand what the cus­tomer is ex­actly look­ing for. The like­ness for de­sign and trend can change any mo­ment.

Fash­ion con­sumers, say mall de­vel­op­ers, can be broadly di­vided into two cat­e­gories – fo­cused buy­ers and im­pulse buy­ers. Fo­cused buy­ers are those who know ex­actly what they want, which store houses the prod­uct and come to the mall with the pur­pose and in­tent of buy­ing that piece of cloth­ing. Im­pulse buy­ers on the other hand are those who visit a mall just on a whim and then end up buy­ing clothes that ap­peal to them on the spot. Both types of cus­tomers are im­por­tant for re­tail stores and malls and to sat­isfy them both, mall de­vel­op­ers en­sure re­tail­ers up­date their de­signs and cat­e­gories al­most ev­ery month. IN CON­CLU­SION: As per a JLL re­port, fash­ion re­tail­ers will con­tinue to com­mand a prom­i­nent pres­ence in In­dian shop­ping malls. It is ex­pected that more fash­ion brands will open ‘ex­pe­ri­ence stores’ and newer for­mats and strengthen their foot­print across the coun­try.

With the fash­ion re­tail sec­tor in the midst of a rein­ven­tion pow­ered by tech­nol­ogy, one thing is for sure and that is that the only lim­i­ta­tion to­day’s re­tail­ers face is their own cre­ativ­ity. The good news for cus­tomers is that there has never been a bet­ter time to be a shop­per.

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